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Prevalence of prelacteal feeding and its associated factors among mothers of under-24-month-old children at Arba Minch Zuria District, Ethiopia: A cross-sectional study

N D Megersa, E Z Tariku, G E Yesera, B T Gutema

Abstract


Background. Introduction of prelacteal feeds to newborn babies negates the recommendation of the World Health Organization that breastfeeding should be initiated within an hour after childbirth. As a result, many known health benefits of breastfeeding for infants, children and mothers are precluded. Therefore, to obviate the harmful effects of prelacteal feeding, it remains of paramount concern to identify the current status of prelacteal feeding and its contributing factors.

Objective. To assess the prevalence of prelacteal feeding and associated factors among mothers of under-24-month-old children in Arba Minch Zuria District, Ethiopia.

Methods. A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 400 mother/caregiver-child pairs. A structured and pretested questionnaire uploaded on mobile devices pre-installed with open data kit software was used for data collection. Factors associated with prelacteal feeding practices were explored using multivariable logistic regression analysis. The Hosmer-Lemeshow goodness-of-fit test was used to determine whether the model adequately described the data or not.

Results. A total of 400 mothers/caregivers participated in the study, of whom 67 (16.8%) practised prelacteal feeding. Mothers who had poor knowledge of breastfeeding were nearly four times more likely to practise prelacteal feeding than those who had good knowledge (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 3.95; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.82 - 8.54). Mothers who did not receive counselling on breastfeeding during antenatal care (ANC) follow-up were 4.1 times more likely to provide prelacteal feeds than those who received counselling (aOR 4.1; 95% CI 1.70 - 9.76). Furthermore, mothers who did not receive immediate postnatal care were 6.46 times more likely to give prelacteal feeding than those who received immediate postnatal care (aOR 6.46; 95% CI 2.85 - 14.63).

Conclusions. One out of six neonates was given prelacteal feeds in the study area. Poor knowledge among mothers about breastfeeding, lack of counselling on optimal breastfeeding during ANC visits, and lack of immediate postnatal care mainly led to prelacteal feeding. Therefore, attention should be given to improving maternal knowledge of breastfeeding through the refining of skilled counseling during ANC and immediate postnatal care


Authors' affiliations

N D Megersa, School of Nursing, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Arba Minch University, Ethiopia

E Z Tariku, School of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Arba Minch University, Ethiopia

G E Yesera, School of Nursing, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Arba Minch University, Ethiopia

B T Gutema, School of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Arba Minch University, Ethiopia; Arba Minch Health and Demographic Surveillance System, Ethiopia

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Cite this article

South African Journal of Child Health 2021;15(2):112-117. DOI:10.7196/SAJCH.2021.v15i2.01698

Article History

Date submitted: 2021-07-21
Date published: 2021-07-21

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